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Unbeta'd. Written for faelinn at LiveJournal at her suggestion.

Tell Me More

by Ralu

His parole hearing is coming up, just a couple of weeks away. He knows that 'cause McManus - patron saint of losers - keeps showing up in his pod, making appointments for him with Sister Peter Marie, having Mukada on his ass with his "there's always a chance, Miguel" bullshit...

"There's always a chance to be free, Miguel."

He nods, keeps his appointments with Sister Pete, says what they expect him to say. These hacks, they always need fucking reassuring, something to make them feel like their job actually matters. That what they do, day after day after day, means something to someone. Anyone. And it's easy. It's so fucking easy he can barely stop himself from laughing at them sometimes.

He laughs when nobody's around. Quietly, without a sound. When there's only him and his shadow, plastered next to him on the narrow bunk, waiting. Torquemada's never too far away, that's for sure. It sometimes feels like a blessing to Miguel.

I am already free, Padre. I am not myself anymore. I don't know what I am, but it's better this way. I never knew what I was anyway, so...

So he turns on his side, hides his face under his arm and listens to himself breathe. The other self.

"Tell me more, baby."

Torquemada says he wants to be him.

Fine. Be me. I was never good at it anyway.

"When I was 12, you know, when I turned 12, it was my birthday and shit..."

His words flow across the pod, linger against the walls, twist and turn and settle like feathers over his skin, melting on the tip of his tongue. They're bittersweet, copper-like softness. Must be the D-tabs. Probably.

"my mom and mi abuela...hell, there were like 20 women all crammed in our kitchen, chatting and yelling and laughing..."

He buries his face under his arm, warm, sticky breath traveling across his neck and chest and it feels so fuckin' nice, it feels so good, just giving it all away, just having someone there to give it to.

Someone who takes it all in.

His head is spinning. That sweet, rocking sensation like when you're out on a boat, or just a little bit drunk, a little bit ditzy. It still feels nice.

"Tell me more, baby."

He wants everything, he wants it all.

And all Miguel has left in this world is hazy, blurred out dreams. Shady scrapes of memory, residual, broken bits and pieces. It's up to Torquemada to pick them up and make a home for himself. Miguel's just too fucking tired of trying.

At night, Miguel dreams of pinatas hanging from an oaktree in his backyard, dozens of dolls floating above him, waiting to be broken. His mom smiles and blindfolds him. Sometimes it's Maritza. Orther times it's Torquemada. It doesn't make much of a difference to Miguel, they're all the same. One gigantic figure leaning over, covering his eyes and guiding his skinny bones in the right direction.

When the stick hits and the doll breaks, he's showered in Emerald green D-tabs.

It still feels nice.

And it's all that's left. All any man in Oz really needs.

---the end---
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